Medicare Buy-in and Budget Reconciliation: Making Lemonade Outta Lemons

Cross posted at Daily Kos (w/ poll)

Stardate September 1, 1997.

The Kaiser Foundation releases Publication 1318: "Retiree Health Trends And Implications Of Possible Medicare Reforms" with an analysis of a legislative proposal to change the age eligibility of Medicare and include a "Buy-in" provision.

A legislative proposal to change medicare eligibility offered through Budget Reconciliation.

Be forewarned that your diarist is not an expert on legislation or healthcare or insurance matters; Just a citizen wondering why we can't have a crappy HCR Bill AND Medicare Buy-in (through subsequent legislation).

Stardate January, 2010 State of the Union Address.

President Barack Obama praises Congress for passage (or scolds Congress for failure to pass) Healthcare Reform Bill. "But more is needed. And needed now. That's why I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to expand Medicare coverage through Budget Reconciliation - immediately."

Now that's change we can believe in.

The simple point of this diary is to point out that there is history of utilizing Budget Reconciliation to change the age of Medicare eligibility. As the Kaiser report states:

The Senate-passed version of 1997 budget reconciliation legislation relating to Medicare (H.R. 2015) included a provision raising the Medicare age of eligibility to 67, gradually, in tandem with the Social Security normal retirement age, as shown in Figure 7. By a vote of 62-38, the Senate agreed to include this provision by overriding a procedural objection (" a point of order") that had been raised against it, after heated debate. This outcome on the Senate vote was very different from what occurred previously, in 1995, when the Senate Committee on Finance had included the same provision in its version of the then-pending budget reconciliation bill. In 1995, however, this provision was easily removed on the Senate floor by a successful procedural objection, without serious floor debate of the merits of the provision or a roll-call vote on a motion to waive the point of order.

Despite the strong vote of support, the 1997 Senate provision was dropped from the conference agreement on the Balanced Budget Act, after the House had earlier voted by 414-14 to instruct its negotiators to reject the Senate provision increasing the Medicare eligibility age.

mcjoan's recent diary and others have framed the HCR discussion as an either/or discussion. Why can't we have both?

I'm only askin...


I see reconciliation as the only hope

but not much of one. It's all up to Progressive Dems in the House. Obama seems hell bent on signing whatever piece of crap comes across his desk.